Our Craft Curriculum is central to our therapeutic learning.
All students that choose to attend the Mount have chosen to participate in an aspect of craft learning. The craft activities are valued both for their therapeutic potential and also for developing transferable skills.
The development of skills within a craft support a sensory based experience whilst building each individual’s confidence and self-esteem by making beautiful valued items that are used within the community or sold as social enterprise.
Introduction to Crafts – College 1
Our Introduction to Crafts course offered to all first year students (college 1) is designed for students to experience different materials and their qualities, discovering first hand, when possible, where they are to be sourced, learning techniques and tools required to work with them, whilst keeping ourselves safe in the process.
The crafts are used as a medium to develop wider skills for example forming a group, interacting with peers and developing perseverance. The students gain an experience of the world around them by creating products from raw materials often sourced on site.
Giving students the opportunity to add their own individual touch and beauty to the product being made will often serve a purpose for themselves or as part of The Mount community. Students benefit from seeing something being used that has been made with their own hands, this provides a healthy satisfaction and builds an appreciation for the work behind many objects they see around them.
In addition this order of learning the crafts also has the benefit of gradually introducing more tools, more complex material and workings. With the first crafts, clay and felting, our hands are almost always in contact with the material we are shaping, until we reach Greenwood work and then Forging where there is no direct hand contact. The amount of ‘protective’ clothing and knowing how to keep oneself safe is built throughout, alongside developing a good working ethic (punctuality, tidying up, health and safety, helping each other etc.), through the crafts. Each craft also supports students to develop hand eye coordination, strength and stamina.
With the earlier crafts there is more space for social communication as students work, this helps to build team work skills and promote a peer group respecting each other’s strengths. As the crafts progress students learn to appreciate that more focus may be required to stay safe whilst knowing and accepting help when needed.
In the beginning students learn to make things that they can keep for ourselves. This joy then moves to making things for others and in many cases students are able to see their craft items being used and appreciated by other. For example a candle lit at the table, or a willow planter in the garden.
Alongside the practical work students take photographs that record their work giving a visual record of their work and achievements.